Vintage Buttons 2 Merchant Resource

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Real buttons! Merchant Resource!

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These are images of real buttons, mostly saved off of used clothing. Some were collected by my mother (1909-1991), which means that most of them are from 1920-1985. I’m sure that the bulk of them are from the 1950s onwards. However, she was raised by her maternal grandmother, so there may be some earlier than 1920. There are nicks and dings. I did wash and clean as best I could, and in a few cases photoshopped a little of the damage off. However, they all look like used buttons except for one or two that were still on the paper card they’d come on.

The buttons themselves range from about a quarter inch to several inches across.

The holes are all about the same size in real life. That means that the larger the holes look on the button, the smaller the button is.

The materials were a little different then, and many of the items might be bakelite or nylon or something else that looks like plastic, but isn’t what we consider plastic today. Also, I can tell you by experience that many of the older buttons, especially plastics, did NOT go through a hot water wash or a dryer set on high without warping or melting. However, the ones in this set are mostly the more durable ones. They survived long enough to outlast the garment they were attached to.

Black and White Buttons
Back when, clothes were expensive, very expensive, and people didn’t have many. They didn’t have many “notions” (buttons, fasteners, other doodads that are attached to the garment) of any kind. To keep stuff simple, dark clothing took black buttons, light clothing took white buttons. I might add that for many years I only had black thread and white thread in my sewing kit. Black for dark colored items, white for light ones. Matching colors of thread to the fabric was useful only for top stitching.
These buttons would be for ordinary, every-day clothing.
#5 is mother-of-pearl, most of the rest are some form of plastic.

These are not sturdy buckles for actually holding things on with, but the decorative buckles one finds on the little cloth belts for women’s clothing. Those were in fashion in the 1940s through about the 1960s.

Dirty Old Buttons
These were buttons so grimy I was not able to scrub them clean, but hey, grunge is realistic, right? These would have been on older work clothes that saw very hard wear.

Stem Buttons
Decorative buttons where the button hole is on the stem on the backside and only the un-pierced front shows. #48 is gold-colored metal, the rest are some form of plastic.

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Textures for Poser and Daz Studio



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